Rugger Review: Edge Of Tomorrow
Summary: After being arrested and dropped into combat against an alien race, a senior army officer finds himself repeating the same day over and over again every time he dies. Using this, he teams up with a war hero to find a way to win the war.
Tom Cruise has always been a man of all genre’s, flirting between romantic comedy, action thriller and sci-fi with the ease of an actor who plays to his strengths and gives the audience exactly what they want.
Edge of Tomorrow then is no different from what you would expect from Cruise, but despite its Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers premise, it still feels entirely fresh, something Hollywood has struggled with lately.
Even though by the films end Cruise finally succumbs to his usual cock-sure persona, we first get to experience him as a petty, self-confessed coward; a PR officer (the suitably named Bill Cage) who is tasked by the army with selling a war to the public against an alien race known as mimics.
After attempting to blackmail his commanding officer to get out of documenting the war with the first wave of soldiers, Cage finds himself on the front lines, wearing a mechanical weapon suit with absolutely no training.
In fact, Cage is so incompetent when it comes to battle that he can’t even turn off the safety on his weapons and he hates the sight of blood. When the time comes for his inevitable death he suddenly wakes up to the previous morning, with no choice but to relive it all again.
From here we move into Source Code territory, with Cage firstly trying to work out how to survive the beach attack, an expertly staged assault that evokes the beaches of Normandy, then realising that his new found power can help win the war.
The battlefield action is shot in close quarters, throwing the audience into the action with Cage, even showing it from his POV at one stage. The mechanical suits bring something new and exciting to war, and despite reliving it more than once, each day feels like a new battle.
With the assistance of a war hero, Emily Blunt’s Rita Vrataski, Cage trains each day to make himself a better soldier, with a bullet to the head (make that a lot of bullets) re-setting the day so that he can go again.
To give any more of the plot away would rule out the enjoyment of watching it unfold, but as silly as the idea might seem, the script explains it in a way that makes it work, with a little suspension of disbelief that is.
Much like Groundhog Day, the repetitive nature of the script isn’t evident as each day is as equally different as it is the same. It is remarkable that the plot hurdles along at such an unbelievable pace and yet still feels coherent.
The star here, as always, is Cruise. With a comic-timing most comedians would kill for, he turns what could have been a hateful character into someone to root for and in Emily Blunt has found a co-star that can match him in every scene.
Director Doug Liman has given us his best movie since Jason Bourne’s first outing and with support from the ever reliable Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson, has provided us with one of the surprise gems of the summer.
Final Verdict: Unwilling to tag itself as anything more than an enjoyable romp, Edge of Tomorrow is a shockingly smart, and darkly comic blockbuster that has seemingly come from nowhere to be one of the films of the year. A spectacle in every sense of the word with Tom Cruise back to his cocky best.
Star Rating: 4/5
* Review by Stephen Connolly